Recent Delaware Tech Graduates Intern at University of Delaware Through Space Grant Program

LEWES – Three 2012 graduates of the Electronics and Engineering Technologies Departments at Delaware Tech in Georgetown are spending their summer at the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and the Environment (CEOE) working on projects funded through grants from the Delaware Space Grant Consortium. The program, established in 1991, is funded by NASA in order to train students and researchers in the state of Delaware in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and geography.

Paul Spencer, who graduated in the spring with an associate degree in Mechanical Design Engineering Technology, and Tyler Davidson, who graduated with an associate degree in Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology are working with Dr. George Luther at the CEOE to design a pumping and valve control system for deployment at 5,000 meters using the Jason Deep Submersible to collect water samples from a thermal vent.  Dr. Doug Hicks and Brent Mitchell, department chairs for Engineering Technology and Electronics Engineering Technology at Delaware Tech in Georgetown, are also advising the students as they conduct their work.

“Paul and Tyler have had a wonderful opportunity to apply the design knowledge they developed through their studies at Delaware Tech to an exciting real world problem,” said Dr. Hicks.  “Although simple to do on land, collecting water samples by a remote control 5,000 meters under the sea presents quite a challenge.  They have done a great job of coming up with a practical solution to a very difficult problem.”

Eric Yoder, an Engineering and Technology graduate, is working with Dr. Jonathan Sharp at the University’s CEOE to expand the use of a water sampling system deployed on the Cape May – Lewes Ferry. Dr. Sharp and Eric periodically go on board the Twin Capes ferry to check equipment, take equipment off the ferry to calibrate in the laboratory, and take discrete samples for further laboratory analysis. Dr. Hicks is also advising Eric at Delaware Tech throughout the summer.

“Eric has assisted in accessing and compiling the data from the ferry, as well as gathering routine monitoring data from our research vessel,” said Dr. Sharp. “In both cases, very large data streams are potentially available, but not really usable without a systematic method of acquisition. Eric has been resourceful and hard working in helping set up these systems. He has great enthusiasm and curiosity, and it has been a delight to work with him this summer.”

All three graduates will continue their education to pursue bachelor’s degrees in the fall. Paul Spencer and Tyler Davidson will attend Old Dominion University, where Paul will major in mechanical engineering, and Tyler will pursue a degree in electrical engineering technology. Eric will attend the University of Delaware in the fall majoring in civil engineering.

Left to Right: Paul Spencer and Tyler Davidson work on their design for a new solenoid valve for controlling water flow from one sample filter to another in their pumping system. Eric Yoder analyzes water properties data on a computer spreadsheet.